An Analysis of Disciplinary Alternative Education Programs in Texas: The Role of School Districts’ Wealth, Location and Size
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Purpose: The purpose of this research is to examine 1) the influence of Texas school district wealth, student population, and geographical location on referral of minority students to Disciplinary Alternative Educations Programs (DAEPs), as well as 2) the influence of Texas school district wealth, student population, and geographic location on student discretionary assignments to DAEPs. <em>Methods:</em> Archival and aggregated data on DAEP characteristics were obtained from 207 Texas DAEPs and their corresponding school districts (2009-2010). Multiple regression analysis was used to analyze the data and test the formal hypotheses. Results: Regression analysis revealed that wealth and percentage of white students in school districts had significant impact on the percentage of minority students referred to DAEPs. However, this relationship was not observed in discretionary referrals. Geographical location did not significantly impact the percentage of minority students assigned to DAEPs, but rural and midsize areas showed some significance on the percentage of discretionary referrals to DAEPs. Conclusion: Contrary to popular belief suggesting discrimination against minority students in referrals to DAEP, this research suggest otherwise. Evidence from this study found no discrimination against minority students? referrals to DAEPs in Texas school districts. Wealth has considerable effect on the percentage of minority students assigned to DAEPs but no significant impact on the percentage of discretionary referrals to DAEPs. Rural and Midsize areas are more likely to make discretionary referrals to DAEPs.